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Journalism Awards

Universities Australia Higher Education Media Awards

awarded by Universities Australia

Submissions close 30th September


National Press Club of Australia and Universities Australia logos


HIGHER EDUCATION MEDIA AWARDS OVERVIEW The awards recognise excellent journalism and communication on key issues in higher education including the economic and social benefits from Australia's universities to the nation, government, industry, the not-for-profit sector and the community.


To recognise quality journalism and commentary that informs deeper public understanding of the contribution that universities make to our society and economy.


The judges said: “John Ross’ intricate knowledge of the Australian higher education sector and funding policy – reflecting his decades of high-quality reporting on the sector – shone through in another compelling body of work over the past year.”

“In a portfolio of deftly reported features, including his main article 'Does the Australian government really hate universities?', he powerfully explored the relationships between universities and both major parties of Government, how the sector navigated the election campaign, how Australian universities had fared during COVID, and the outlook for international education post-COVID.”

“John’s deep understanding of the history and evolution of higher education policy, the breadth and depth of his contact book, and the trust he has forged with key players in universities, policymaking and expert commentators to report their views with accuracy and nuance place him at the very pinnacle of higher education reporting in Australia.”

John will have in his name inscribed on the National Press Club of Australia honour board for a record third time and receives a grant of $ 12,500 for his outstanding journalism.

The Universities Australia Award for Excellence in University Research Reporting 2022 – The Pursuit production and writing team at the University of Melbourne (Dr Nerissa Hannink, Andrew Trounson & Imogen Crump)

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast expertise of Australian university researchers and experts has been key to Australia’s success at averting even more deaths and debilitating long-term illness.”

“Dr Nerissa Hannink, Andrew Trounson and Imogen Crump at Pursuit rose to the urgent public interest journalism challenge of a vast public desire to understand what the evolving expert university science

from all across Australia had to say.”

“In skilled coverage on a dedicated COVID-19 channel that generated strong readership metrics, the team reported consistently on the latest university research breakthroughs about the virus itself, the ongoing pandemic, and illuminated how university research was informing policy and debunking dangerous misinformation.

“It was powerful public service journalism that highlighted the indispensable role of Australian university research to save lives, safeguard public health, and help to shape public policy informed by robust evidence.”

For their outstanding journalism, the Pursuit Team will receive a cash prize to the value of $1000 each and have their

names inscribed on the honour board to be permanently displayed at the National Press Club of Australia.

Universities Australia Chief Executive, Catriona Jackson said:

“Each year we recognise exceptional reporting on key issues in higher education, including the enormous contributions our universities make to the communities they serve and across the nation.”

“Universities Australia congratulates John Ross and the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit production and

writing team for their powerful storytelling throughout another busy year for our sector.”

Applicants are required to disclose if their entry or related journalism is or has been subject to any form of litigation such as claims for defamation or libel etc.
In any event, applicants will indemnify the National Press Club, its judges and corporate partners from any claim for damages and other financial settlements awarded by a court


Universities Australia Higher Education Media Awards Winners


Luke Slattery

The Australian


John Ross

Campus Review


Elizabeth Finkel

Cosmos Magazine


Bernard Lane

The Australian


Joanna Mather

Australian Financial Review


Tim Dodd

Australian Financial Review


Amy McNeilage and Lisa Valentin

Sydney Morning Herald


Kylar Loussikian

The Australian


Kylar Loussikian

The Australian


John Ross

The Australian


Anton Crace

The PIE Review

Wilson da Silva is named the 2020 Higher Education Journalist of the Year.

Wilson da Silva

Australian Geographic


Conor Duffy


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